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Westminster bid to introduce same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland fails

Westminster bid to introduce same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland fails

The latest attempt to extend same-sex marriage legislation to Northern Ireland via Westminster has failed.

The bid ended after Conservative peer Lord Hayward withdrew his amendment

A debate on the bill took place at the House of Lords yesterday, though the legislation ran out of parliamentary time, The Irish News reports.

The move to extend same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland was introduced by Lord Hayward along with Labour peer, Lord Collins.

‘The growing momentum for marriage equality legislation at Westminster is now clear for all to see,’ Lord Hayward said.

‘We made a tactical withdrawal today, but we will be back, this time to win.’

‘The minister’s call today rings very hollow

There have been calls for Northern Ireland’s parliament, often referred to as Stormont, to deliver the bill.

Representing the government, Baroness Williams of Trafford said the Stormont should make legalizing marriage equality a priority.

However, the Stormont has been under suspension for two years.

Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International expressed his frustration at the recent developments.

‘The minister’s call today for Stormont to deliver equal marriage rings very hollow, when we all know that the assembly chamber has lain empty for more than two years, with no return of devolution in sight,’ Corrigan said.

Majority of the population support marriage equality  

While same-sex marriages are legal in the rest of the UK, they remain illegal in Northern Ireland.

Same-sex couples who married in other parts of the UK are only recognized as civil partners in Northern Ireland.

There have been moves to legalize same-sex marriage in the country, though all have fallen short.

In 2015, a majority in the Stormont voted to legalize marriage equality.

However, the conservative Christian Democratic Unionist Party blocked the move.

In January, marriage equality advocates sent a letter to the Irish government to push for the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Deputy head of the Government of Ireland, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, met representatives of the  Love Equality campaign to draft the letter.

Reports show that 76% of people in Northern Ireland support the legalization of same-sex marriage.